Sunday, January 19, 2014

Interview with TBF Author: Andrew Smith

Hello readers!

A couple of things to share with you. Unfortunately due to conflicting schedules, Kami Garcia will not be able to join us this year. However, Margaret Stohl is still coming.

Next I have an interview to share with you! Meet Andrew Smith, author of Winger.

Miranda Reads: There's a rumor going around that you have a novel coming out in September called 100 Sideways Miles. Is this rumor true? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Andrew Smith: Yes, I actually have TWO novels coming out in 2014: Grasshopper Jungle (February 11, from Dutton/Penguin), and--to confirm the rumor--100 Sideways Miles, coming September 2 from Simon & Schuster. And I can do no better than to use the wonderful jacket description crafted by my editor, David Gale:
Finn Easton sees the world through miles instead of minutes, inches instead of hours. It's how he makes sense of the world, and how he tries to convince himself that he's a real boy and not just a character in his father's bestselling cult-classic book.  Finn has two things going for him: his best friend, the possibly-insane-but-definitely-excellent Cade Hernandez, and Julia Bishop, the first girl he's ever loved.

Then Julia moves away, and Finn is heartbroken. Feeling restless and trapped in the book, Finn embarks on a road trip with Cade to visit their college of choice in Oklahoma. When an unexpected accident happens and the boys become unlikely heroes, they take an eye-opening detour away from everything they thought they had planned--and learn how to write their own destiny. 
Andrew Smith writes another funny, offbeat, sidewinder-to-the-heart novel.

MR: You said that you were a troublemaker. What type of troublemaker were you? Did you steal a freshmen's lunch money, pull a lot of pranks, annoyed almost every teacher in the building etc.?
AS: Well, I definitely wasn't the kind of troublemaker who was mean in any way to people. I think most of the trouble I caused came from questioning and challenging the rationale behind certain practices at school. I caused a major headache, in fact, when I got the ACLU to look into the administration's censoring of our high school newspaper (which I co-edited). I got suspended, too. In the end, I think they were more than happy to see me graduate and get out of town.

MR: Do you have any advice for teens who are trying to make it out of middle school and high school alive?

AS: Oh, I have no doubt teens will make it out alive, I'm just concerned they may be brain-dead from all the stripping away of the fundamental value that education has traditionally provided: choice, creative exploration, and the development of the individual as a unique being, as opposed to becoming a clone of the 40 other kids sharing his or her classroom. Kids, always remember: at your "Core," you are not "Common."

MR: One of your five fun facts says that when you were a teenager, you made a list of things you wanted to accomplish but they were mostly "stupid" stuff (like climbing Mt. Everest). Do you remember the other goals you wanted to accomplish that was on your list?
AS: Making out with the girl who sat next to me in Math class. Her name was Cindy. It never happened.

MR: Let's pretend you're on the talent competition show, America's Got Talent. What talent would you perform?

AS: They actually have shows like that? Sounds like it's probably on television, right? Did you know I never watch television? I suppose in this day and age, that's a talent in itself. I have never even touched a DVR machine. I don't even know what they look like, but I have heard people talk (an awful lot) about using them to record and watch entire seasons of shows. That honestly makes me shudder.

MR: What author are you most looking forward to meeting at the 9th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

AS: Well, gosh. I looked at the list, and I think I've already met just about every one of them. It's funny, though, because I am such a highly forgettable person that sometimes I'll run into certain notable authors again and again and they never remember me. I have decided to start stealing their purses and wallets, because they'll never know who did it anyway. That said, I am probably most looking forward to meeting one of my very best friends, A.S. King, there so we can catch up on all the golf we've missed playing in the last few months.

Thanks for chatting with us, Andrew! See you in May!

That's it for now. Check the blog again for more interviews and book reviews!

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